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“What Happened in Vegas” Didn’t Stay in Las Vegas; Police Brutality Documentary Premiers at Cinequest

Last week on March 4th, “What Happened in Vegas” had its world premier to rave reviews at the Cinequest Film Festival, which is held annually in San Jose, CA. (This year there were also additional screenings held in Redwood City.) The documentary by Ramsey Denison is primarily focused on three very questionable shootings of Las Vegas residents by members of the LVMPD (AKA “Metro”) and the lack of any resulting consequences for the officers involved in those killings.

Within Las Vegas all three cases were very prominent incidents that received widespread local coverage and generated significant criticisms against the LVMPD and their handling of them. The inadequacies of the investigations into the questions surrounding those cases and outright cover-ups, as well as the reasons behind them also play a major role in the film.

Trevon Cole and Bryan Yant

The first case featured in the movie is that of Trevon Cole, who was caught on camera selling a very small amount of marijuana to an LVMPD detective. Cole very easily could have been arrested right then or at virtually any other time he stepped out of his house and there was no indication that Cole was or would become violent.

Instead, in order to create a dramatic confrontation intended to be used in a proposed reality show the LVMPD was hoping to create, they decided to conduct a full SWAT raid on his apartment. During that raid, Sgt. Bryan Yant, who had intentionally used falsified information from another person (that actually lived in Texas) with the same name as Cole to attain the search warrant, shot Cole in the head with an AR-15 in front of his pregnant girlfriend, while Trevon was on his knees in the bathroom.

Later, in an attempt to justify their actions, Metro police officers showed up at the house belonging to Cole’s in-laws, where his girlfriend, who was literally within days of having their baby, was staying. They then conducted an illegal search of Cole’s belongings hoping to find something that would incriminate him and provide justifications for the murder.

Not only was nobody held accountable in any way whatsoever for the falsified search warrant, the illegal search afterwards, or the murder itself, Bryan Yant, for whom this was his third deadly shooting, was recently hired by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association as the union representative that advises police officers when they are involved in shootings.

Erik Scott and Costco’s (Conveniently) Malfunctioning Camera

The second and most well known case featured in the movie is that of Erik Scott, who was shot by LVMPD Officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark, and Thomas Mendiola as he walked out of a Costco located in a suburb of Las Vegas known as Summerlin. The original reason that the police were called was because an employee at the Costco had noticed that Scott was wearing a holster under his shirt. Erik Scott was legally registered to carry the concealed weapon that he was armed with that day. However, Costco has a policy against firearms within their stores. After having a discussion about that with Scott, a Costco security guard, Shai Lierley, called Metro and reportedly exaggerated his behavior. (Erik had asserted his legal right to be armed, but had not acted in a threatening manner.)

After an evacuation order was given at the store, Lierley pointed Scott out to Mosher, Stark, and Mendiola. Those officers then proceeded to give contradictory, confusing, and aggressive orders to Scott. Shortly after, Mosher shot Scott and after he had already fallen to the ground Stark and Mendiola followed suit firing numerous rounds into his body as he lay already mortally wounded.

Like most large retail stores, that Costco location had security cameras throughout the inside and outside of the store. One of those was situated where it should have recorded the entire confrontation. By some amazing “coincidence” that one surveillance camera just happened to be malfunctioning that day and all the footage from that specific time was unrecoverable.

In the movie, Erik Scott’s father, Bill, also describes how the police soon realized that a report by the EMT in the ambulance that transported Erik to the hospital where he was pronounced dead had noted that there was a gun on his body still within the holster. the problem with that was that the police had at some point retrieved that gun and placed it at the scene of the shooting to corroborate their story that Scott had pulled his gun as a justification for it. The next day, even after they were denied permission to do so by Erik’s brother, who lived with him at the time, Metro officers conducted an illegal search on his apartment under the pretense of securing his property. Not long after, the narrative became that Scott had actually been carrying two guns at the time of the shooting.

As was the case with those involved in the Trevon Cole murder, Erik Scott’s killing was ruled justified. In fact, Mosher and Stark were given awards for bravery during the murder of Scott shortly afterwards. (Mendiola had been fired by that point for giving a gun to a felon.) Both of them are still employed with the LVMPD.

Stanley Gibson and Jesus Arevalo

The third case featured in the movie is that of Stanley Gibson, a Gulf War veteran who had cancer and PTSD, both of which were caused by his military service. Partially as a result of his medication being cut off by the Veteran’s Administration and partly because of the effects of the cancer on his memory, Gibson entered the wrong apartment complex after having just moved. Police were called after someone saw him attempting to open the door to the apartment he thought was his and soon after they had blocked his car in inside the parking lot.

In spite of the fact that Gibson’s car was completely blocked in by two unoccupied police cars (see embedded video below) and would not have been able to move, the police at the scene decided they could not simply wait him out. Instead, they concocted a plan to break out Gibson’s back window with a bean bag round and then shoot pepper spray into the car (which is against Metro’s policy) to force Gibson, who at the time was unresponsive, to come out of it. However, once the bean bag round was fired, Officer Jesus Arevalo fired seven times with his personal AR-15, later claiming that he thought the firing of the bean bag round was Gibson shooting at them.

While the investigation was still ongoing Arevalo’s soon to be ex-wife was recorded stating that, among other things, he had said before Gibson’s killing that he wanted to shoot someone so he could get paid time off, had referred to Gibson using a racial slur and expressing disdain for him, and had bragged about how fast he was able to fire off those seven rounds. Not surprisingly though, Stanley Gibson’s shooting, like every other police shooting in the entire history of the city of Las Vegas was ruled justified. Not only that but Arevalo was placed on disability as a result of stress from the shooting and given a monthly payment of $23,000 to $28,000 (plus cost of living increases) for the rest of his life.

Beaten and Arrested for Reporting Police Brutality

Several other non-fatal incidents are also featured in the movie, including an unarmed and innocent man who was shot at a local 7-11 after he was mistook for a murder suspect and a man who used a hidden GoPro camera to film himself being assaulted and falsely arrested by a “saturation team” after he refused to provide ID as a passenger at a traffic stop (which he legally was not required to do). The video in the latter case also captured audio and video of those officers stating as they searched his car that they “had to find something” to justify his arrest, after the fact.

The other incident featured within the movie is director Ramsey Denison’s own arrest by Las Vegas Police Officers Mark Belanger, Kyle Frett, and Jared Casper. While on vacation in Vegas, Ramsey saw those three officers both verbally and physically abusing a man they had already taken into custody and successfully handcuffed.

Not having seen that type of behavior from cops before and having a positive opinion of the police from working on “true-crime” shows as a film editor in Los Angeles, Denison made the rookie mistake of calling 911 and reporting the officers. The 911 operator responded by calling Belanger, Frett, and Casper to let them know someone had called to report misconduct by them. They then promptly came over and beat, then arrested, Denison.

Later, both the supervisor who had responded to Denison’s 911 complaint and the Internal Affairs “investigators” rubber stamped their approval of his treatment by the trio of Metro officers. Also not terribly surprisingly, he was later told that none of the cameras at the club where his assault took place were turned on that night, effectively precluding him from being able to file a lawsuit to attain some sort of justice. That, along with his experience in the jail and during court, prompted Denison to begin looking into the history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and eventually to make “What Happened in Vegas.

Shining a Light on the Darkness within the LVMPD

Ramsey contacted me a couple months after his arrest, which was also not long after I and several other members of Nevada Cop Block were arrested for the ridiculous charge of graffiti (and even more ridiculous “conspiracy” charges) for writing with chalk on public sidewalks during protests over the murder of Stanley Gibson, whom I was friends with in high school, and Metro’s many other victims, including Erik Scott and Trevon Cole.

After meeting with him and getting the feeling that he was genuine in his intentions, I agreed on doing an interview, much of which was included in the movie. Also, while I was limited on what I could discuss about our arrests for chalking, due to lawsuits we had filed (which are still active to this day) as a result, that is discussed in general terms within the film. In addition, several scenes shot of me chalking were included in the movie.

Due to the connections I had built working with Nevada Cop Block and during those demonstrations, I was able to point Denison toward several people within Las Vegas that I felt would potentially be helpful, including some who knew or were related to Erik Scott, Trevon Cole, and Stanley Gibson. I’m happy to say that Ramsey did a great job of seeking those people out, building trust with them, and presenting them in a convincing, professional, and impactful way within the movie.

He also did a great job of researching the background of those featured in the movie and portraying them as real people, as well as separating their true characters from the smear campaigns that the LVMPD uses to deflect blame from the department after they kill someone. What Happened in Vegas does a very equitable job of showing who Scott, Cole, and Gibson were and the impact their murders had on those they left behind.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the movie’s premier screenings at the Cinequest Film Festival last week and it turned out as good as I could have ever expected, if not better. Audiences, as well as critics, attending those screenings were very responsive and positive about the movie. I very much appreciate the work that Ramsey and his crew did both in making a great movie and shining a light on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department that I expect will not go unnoticed and that was much overdue.

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The LVMPD Gang Task Force is Corrupt and it Extends All the Way to the Top

LVMPD Gang Task Force Corruption Stephen Stubbs

Las Vegas lawyer Stephen Stubbs discusses corruption within the LVMPD Gang Task Force, why it goes all the way to the top, and their retaliation attempts.

The video above was made by Stephen Stubbs, a Las Vegas attorney. Stubbs has been featured many times on Nevada Cop Block (see the first “Related Posts” section below) both for issues involving clients he is representing, as well as several times when he himself has been the target of the LVMPD or other Las Vegas area police departments.

In this video, he discusses corruption within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Gang Task Force and shows how it isn’t just the proverbial “Few Bad Apples” involved, but rather how it extends all the way up to the top of the leadership of the Task Force and Metro itself.

He discusses the case where he first was the subject of a CopBlock post, in which he was illegally arrested by (now) Lt. Yesenia Yatomi after he refused an unconstitutional order to leave while they questioned one of his clients. He also discusses other instances in which he has personally been targeted by the LVMPD, including one where they tried to ruin his reputation and possibly even put him in a position to be harmed physically by starting a rumor that he was a confidential informant.

Personally, I think the corruption is far from limited to the Gang Task Force or even the LVMPD. Las Vegas area police are incredibly corrupt from top to bottom. And just in case you need a refresher on that corruption I’ve included a section below that links to every post on CopBlock.org that involves the LVMPD and/or other Las Vegas area police departments.

While I didn’t go through and do an official, scientific count (because I have to sleep sometime), I have very little doubt that the 150+ posts included in the two “Related Posts” sections below represent the largest number (by far) of posts involving any single metropolitan area in the country on Cop Block. So, if you have a few free days or a holiday weekend coming up, scroll through there sometime and see just how many times Las Vegas area police have been caught red handed in their corruption and abuse.

From the Video Description on Youtube

See how the following LVMPD cops are dirty:

  1. Detective Joe Gagliardi
  2. Detective John Woosnam
  3. Now Lieutenant Yesenia Yatomi
  4. Officer Chris Hall
  5. Deputy Chief James Owens
  6. Former LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie

Original Arrest Video

Lt. Yatomi is Promoted and Put in Charge of Internal Affairs

Related Posts Submitted By or About Stephen Stubbs:

Stephen-Stubbs-CopBlockThose of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs is a frequent contributor of submissions to Nevada Cop Block. He often represents bikers and motorcycle organizations, whom are frequent targets of harassment from the police. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen on a somewhat regular basis through Nevada Cop Block on issues or cases within the Las Vegas area.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy (and growing) list of posts on Cop Block involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

  1. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Ordered to Answer Perjury/Withholding Evidence Charges in Court
  2. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Accused of Perjury; Judge Recused Self Due to “Negative Opinion” of Her
  3. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  4. Las Vegas Metro Police Illegally Search; Sexually Assault Innocent Man to Justify Bullshit Arrest
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Man Beaten by Las Vegas Police For Not Moving Fast Enough Awarded $31,500 Settlement
  7. Full Waco Twin Peaks Biker Shooting Videos; Witness Statement Made Public
  8. Know Your Rights Seminar At Las Vegas “Rally For Your Rights”
  9. Waco, TX; Twin Peaks Shootings Arrests – June 10th Call Flood
  10. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  11. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  12. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Found Not Guilty in 5th Amendment Right to Counsel Case
  13. Game Over for Insert Coins’ and Their Abusive Bouncers
  14. Dance, Dance Revolution Protest at Insert Coins Las Vegas- Feb. 26, 2015
  15. Insert Coin(s) Las Vegas Bouncers Beat Man and Obstruct Witness Trying to Film
  16. Las Vegas Police Promise “Fundamental Policy Changes” after Dominic Gennarino Beating
  17. Las Vegas Police Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”
  18. Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them
  19. Free Know Your Rights Seminar in Las Vegas
  20. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Refusing to Leave His Client’s Side

Other Related Posts About the LVMPD/Las Vegas Area Police

  1. Las Vegas Cops Demand ID, Attempt to Intimidate, Then Issue Threat When Refused
  2. LVMPD Public Police Fatality Review for Thomas McEniry to be Held Monday September 19th
  3. Las Vegas Mom of Autistic Man Paints Giant Message to Cops on Her Garage After Previous Assault
  4. Wife of Henderson Police Lieutenant Arrested For Forgery, Stealing From Las Vegas College, and Drug Charges
  5. Las Vegas Judge Continues Bizarre, Out of Control Behavior; Throws Family of Murder Victims Out of Court; Threatens to Arrest Reporter
  6. Family of Abel Correa Files Federal Lawsuit Against Las Vegas Police Over 2015 Fatal Shooting
  7. Las Vegas School Cop Accused of Assaulting Student and Staff Looked “a Little Bit Crazy-Like” While Swinging Baton
  8. R.I.P. Sean Gruber – Yet Another Victim of the LVMPD
  9. Photos Show Abuse of Dog by Las Vegas Corrections Officer Brian Emil
  10. Contempt Charge Against Defense Attorney Who was Handcuffed in Court by Las Vegas Judge Dismissed
  11. LVMPD Police Arrive 90 Minutes After Home Invasion 911 Call; Cite Homeowner Instead of Attackers
  12. Handcuffed Woman Brutalized By Vegas Cop Receives $200K Settlement
  13. LVMPD Officer Charged with Driving Drunk And Hit and Run After Causing Several Accidents on Freeway
  14. Until Cops Stop Killing “Civilians,” Every Uniformed Police Officer in America is in Danger
  15. Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Who Sent Dick Pics to Dispatcher Denied Reinstatement
  16. Nevada Cop Filmed Kicking Man In Diabetic Shock In Head Five Times Promoted
  17. Four Days in a Las Vegas Jail for Protesting Government Murder by Drones
  18. Las Vegas Judge Who Handcuffed Defense Attorney During Trial Taught Lesson by Voters
  19. Head of Las Vegas School Police Internal Affairs Under Investigation for Misconduct, Suppressing Evidence
  20. Las Vegas Corrections Officer Arrested on “Prostitution Related Crime” Once Again (Update)
  21. Las Vegas Police Jailed Paraplegic for Two Weeks; Accused of Robbery Where Suspect Ran Away
  22. Las Vegas School Cop Charged With Assaulting Student and Staff Member With Baton Enters Plea
  23. Update: Shooting Nevada Inmates With Birdshot Banned by New NDOC Director (For Now)
  24. An Open Letter to Las Vegas Judge Who Handcuffed A Defense Attorney in Court
  25. Las Vegas Protesters “De-Arrest” Innocent Bicyclist After LVMPD Harassment on May Day
  26. Las Vegas Judge Has Defense Attorney Handcuffed During Trial to “Teach Her a Lesson”
  27. “Decorated” Las Vegas Cop Charged With Arson And Fraud After Burning His Own Vehicles
  28. Nevada Prison Guard Charged With Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting of Inmates
  29. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  30. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  31. Official Report: Nevada Prison Guards Blamed For Fatal Shooting of Inmates
  32. Within Scope Of Their Duties: Las Vegas School Police Got Teens Drunk, Covered It Up After Deadly DUI
  33. Update: Woman Beaten by LVMPD Officer For Littering Has Filed Civil Rights Lawsuit
  34. LVMPD Sued By Man Shown on Video Being Attacked by Police at Hard Rock Casino
  35. Update: Details Released in Latest Incident Involving James Burt, LVMPD’s Serial Woman Abuser
  36. Talking to People Being Extorted/Harassed by Police No Longer Arrestable Offense in Las Vegas
  37. Masturbating Janitor Case Exposes Cover-Up of Las Vegas School Cop’s Sex Crimes
  38. LVMPD Officer James Burt Charged With Domestic Battery And Kidnapping (Again)
  39. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  40. Las Vegas Cop Faces Federal Civil Rights Charges Over Beating of Woman For Littering
  41. Henderson NV Police Allowed K9 to Bite One Year Old After Detaining Wrong Man
  42. Off Duty Las Vegas Cops “Accidentally” Shoot at Relative 27 Times
  43. LVMPD Corrections Officer Robert Moore Arrested on “Prostitution Related Crime”
  44. LVMPD Claims Thomas McEniry Pointed a Gun at Officers; Their Own Video Shows Otherwise
  45. Former Las Vegas County Commissioner Tom Collins Arrested for DUI
  46. Witnesses Dispute Official Story in Latest Shooting by LVMPD
  47. Lawsuit: Henderson, NV Police Unlawfully Jailed Woman For Six Months
  48. Las Vegas Police Facing Lawsuit Over Arrests of Medical Marijuana Patients
  49. Not Playing Around: How Police Support Culture Hurts Our Children
  50. Nevada Prison Guards Will Continue Murdering Inmates With Shotguns
  51. Will Lamar Odom Survive Long Enough to go to Prison for Harming No-One But Himself?
  52. Las Vegas School Police Officer Causes Drunken Car Accident Assaults/Pulls Gun on Victims
  53. Jesus Arevalo, the LVMPD Cop Who Murdered Stanley Gibson, Ends Up in Jail (For 10 Days)
  54. TSA Agent Claims You Need Their Permission to Record Airport Screening Pat Down
  55. “Shoot Cops” Las Vegas Company Uses Shock Value to Promote Filming the Police
  56. Las Vegas Police Make It Very Clear They Don’t Understand the First Amendment at Chalk Protest
  57. Maybe Las Vegas Needs a Riot (Via Submission)
  58. Oppose the Return of the More Cops Tax to Las Vegas: Tuesday Sept. 1st
  59. Henderson, NV Police Dismissed Traffic Tickets for “Interest of Justice Family/Friends of HPD”
  60. Las Vegas Marshals Block Handicap Space; Make It Very Clear They Don’t Care About Disabled
  61. An Open Letter to Cops, Their Families, and the Average Statist
  62. Las Vegas Metro Police Release Body Cam Footage Of Fatal Shooting Of Mentally Disabled Man
  63. DUI Checkpoint: How To Assert Your Rights Without Saying a Word
  64. Las Vegas Lawsuit Aims to Curb Courts’ Revenue Generation Focus
  65. Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Freed by Jury Nullification
  66. “Chalk the Police State” with Nevada Cop Block on July 18th
  67. N. Las Vegas Police Chief Admitted Covering Up for Mayor in Child Porn Investigation
  68. Las Vegas Detective Gets Off With Probation for Attacking Prostitute After Price Dispute
  69. Copwatching in Las Vegas: Officer McFidgety
  70. LVMPD Giving $50k of Taxpayer Money to Man in “Distraction Grenade” Case
  71. NV Court Upholds Firing of NLV Cop for Covering Up Brother’s Robbery
  72. North Las Vegas Anti-Police Brutality Protest – Wed. June 24th – 7pm (Update)
  73. Las Vegas Cop Shot Unarmed Man; Won’t Be Charged Since He Was Only Witness
  74. Reliance on Traffic Ticket Revenue Has Left Nevada Supreme Court Broke
  75. Nevada Lawsuits Claim Prison Guards Instigated a Fight, then Shot Inmates
  76. Las Vegas Metro Cop Joins the Growing List of Police Pedophiles/Rapists
  77. In Nevada, the Most Distinctive Cause of Death is the Police
  78. Cops Harass and Arrest Sick People at Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Event
  79. Bill Scott Testimony in Support of NV Bodycam Bill: “My Son Erik Might Be Alive Today…”
  80. Putting Revenue Generation Above Public Safety at Las Vegas’ “Money Hungry” Municipal Courts
  81. Las Vegas, NV Police (and Security/BLM) Brutality Video Compilation #2
  82. “The Vegas Biker” Confronts Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Over Bad Driving
  83. Las Vegas Police Review of D’Andre Berghardt Jr. Murder Scheduled for Today
  84. Las Vegas Cops Shot My Son Nine Times; Seven Times in his Back
  85. Cops Get Owned at Las Vegas DUI Checkpoint
  86. Las Vegas Metro Police Brutality Inside Clark County Detention Center
  87. The $11.8B Militarization of Nevada’s Police Departments
  88. Police Violence and Gentrification in Las Vegas
  89. Nevada Cop Block Members File Lawsuit vs Las Vegas Police Over Chalk Arrests
  90. Monthly First Friday Outreach & Downtown CopWatch in Las Vegas
  91. Interview with Erik Scott’s Father Inspires Death Threats
  92. Another Case of Las Vegas Police Just Doing their Job
  93. Bill Scott, Father of Erik Who Was Killed by LVMPD, Interviewed by Bill Buppert of ZeroGov.com
  94. Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of illegal Data Searches
  95. Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something
  96. LVMPD Use of Force Policy Reforms a Grand Success
  97. How Would You Handle the Armed Men in Nevada?
  98. Armed Federal Agents Taser Bundy Ranch Protesters
  99. More Cops Does Not Mean More Justice For Las Vegas
  100. Las Vegas Law Enforcers Breaking The Law!
  101. Disturbing Video Shows Court Officer Sexually Assaulting & Arresting Mother While Judge Does Nothing
  102. Kelly W. Patterson of NVCopBlock On Non Partisan Liberty For All
  103. Did the LVMPD Retaliate Against Nevada Cop Block Members?
  104. No “More Cops” for the LVMPD; They Aren’t Needed and They Aren’t Wanted
  105. An Open Letter to LVMPD Sheriff Doug Gillespie From Stanley Gibson’s Widow
  106. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation
  107. LVMPD Lies About Jaywalking Because They Don’t Like Being Recorded
  108. Five on Vegas Use of Force Board Resign per LVMPD Whitewash of Shootings
  109. Cops Steal House of Law-Abiding Citizens
  110. Interview With Nevada Cop Block Editor, Kelly W. Patterson, RE: “Second Saturday” Graffiti Arrest
  111. Chalk the Police State – July 18th Support the “Sunset 3”
  112. Man Wearing LVMPD Badge Said to Have Purposely Run Over Dog
  113. Henderson, NV Cops Break Into Illegally Occupy Home
  114. LVMPD Employees Kidnap/Cage Kelly Patterson & Ballentine for Victimless Action
  115. Las Vegas Metro Police: Chalk Washes Off, But Injustice Never Will
  116. Clark County, Nevada Bailiff Has Woman Arrested For Reporting He Groped Her in Family Court
  117. Will There Ever Be Justice for Stanley Gibson?
  118. Twenty-Five Feet of Injustice in Las Vegas
  119. Las Vegas Police Budget Cuts: Minorities And Poor People Finally Benefit From the Recession
  120. After Henderson Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock, Nevada Residents Pay for It
  121. Las Vegas DUI Checkpoint Refusal
  122. Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!
  123. Justice for Stanley Gibson or Just an End-Around Coroner’s Inquest Reforms?
  124. Las Vegas Copblock’d – Illegal Parking by Police Officer
  125. Erik Scott’s Murder: What Happens in the LVMPD, Stays in the LVMPD
  126. Las Vegas Cop Edward Little Teaches Us How To Kill Your Lover’s Husband And Get Away With It
  127. Obey, Submit, Comply: A Rape Model Created by Law Enforcement
  128. What You Should Be Able to Say to a Cop… But Don’t Dare To
  129. NV Highway Patrol Cop Blocked on Vegas Strip
  130. NLV Cop Faked “Saved by the Badge” Shooting to be Called a Hero
  131. Trevon Cole Murdered by Las Vegas Police Officer Bryan Yant During Drug Raid
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Beyond Sept. 9th, Support the Largest Prison Strike in History and Help Eliminate Prison Slave Labor

Note: Previously, CopBlock Network Contributor Josh Hotchkins also published a post previewing and discussing the prison strike.

The growth of the prison industrial complex has been discussed many times on the CopBlock Network, as well as the ways in which prisons have become a modern day form of slavery. The fact is that the United States now has the largest population of incarcerated people in the world by a large margin and every indication is that the government intends to expand that lead.

In addition, the privatization of prisons (which the Federal Government’s recent decision to stop participating in will make little real impact on) has created a form of slave labor that both violates human rights and encourages the corporations and politicians profiting off that system to lock more people up.

It’s also no secret that most, if not all, of us at the CopBlock Network oppose victimless crimes. The largest instance of prosecution for victimless crimes, as well as human rights abuses and violence perpetrated by law enforcement, involves the War on (Some) Drugs. The Drug War and the huge number of non-violent drug offenders that are sent to prison as a result are in large part responsible for the enormous expansion in the U.S. prison population over the past several decades.

On September 9th, which is the 45 year anniversary of the Attica State Prison Uprising, prisons around the country began strikes designed to force reform of prison labor policies and improvements to basic human living conditions within those prisons. Outside of the prisons, many groups around the country and even outside of the United States are holding solidarity actions in support of the prisoners taking part in the strike.

Whether you are now or ever have been directly effected by the growing prison industrial complex, there are many reasons why you should help halt its expansion and even to put an end to it.

Some of the companies that benefit from prison slave labor:

The Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee is helping to promote and organize actions in support of the prisoners. You can also find updates at the website of “It’s Going Down,” an Anarchist-based website that posts information and announcements about grassroots actions.

Additional links for information and updates:

SupportPrisonerResistance.net
FreeAlabamaMovement.com
IWOC.noblogs.org
resonanceaudiodistro.org

Transcript of Video Included Above:

This is a Call to Action Against Slavery in America

In one voice, rising from the cells of long term solitary confinement, echoed in the dormitories and cell blocks from Virginia to Oregon, we prisoners across the United States vow to finally end slavery in 2016.

On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.

In the 1970s the US prison system was crumbling. In Walpole, San Quentin, Soledad, Angola and many other prisons, people were standing up, fighting and taking ownership of their lives and bodies back from the plantation prisons. For the last six years we have remembered and renewed that struggle. In the interim, the prisoner population has ballooned and technologies of control and confinement have developed into the most sophisticated and repressive in world history. The prisons have become more dependent on slavery and torture to maintain their stability.

Prisoners are forced to work for little or no pay. That is slavery. The 13th amendment to the US constitution maintains a legal exception for continued slavery in US prisons. It states “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Overseers watch over our every move, and if we do not perform our appointed tasks to their liking, we are punished. They may have replaced the whip with pepper spray, but many of the other torments remain: isolation, restraint positions, stripping off our clothes and investigating our bodies as though we are animals.

Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.

This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.

Non-violent protests, work stoppages, hunger strikes and other refusals to participate in prison routines and needs have increased in recent years. The 2010 Georgia prison strike, the massive rolling California hunger strikes, the Free Alabama Movement’s 2014 work stoppage, have gathered the most attention, but they are far from the only demonstrations of prisoner power. Large, sometimes effective hunger strikes have broken out at Ohio State Penitentiary, at Menard Correctional in Illinois, at Red Onion in Virginia as well as many other prisons. The burgeoning resistance movement is diverse and interconnected, including immigrant detention centers, women’s prisons and juvenile facilities. Last fall, women prisoners at Yuba County Jail in California joined a hunger strike initiated by women held in immigrant detention centers in California, Colorado and Texas.

attica-prison-uprising-riotPrisoners all across the country regularly engage in myriad demonstrations of power on the inside. They have most often done so with convict solidarity, building coalitions across race lines and gang lines to confront the common oppressor.

Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the American prison system cannot ignore or withstand. We hope to end prison slavery by making it impossible, by refusing to be slaves any longer.

To achieve this goal, we need support from people on the outside. A prison is an easy-lockdown environment, a place of control and confinement where repression is built into every stone wall and chain link, every gesture and routine. When we stand up to these authorities, they come down on us, and the only protection we have is solidarity from the outside. Mass incarceration, whether in private or state-run facilities is a scheme where slave catchers patrol our neighborhoods and monitor our lives. It requires mass criminalization. Our tribulations on the inside are a tool used to control our families and communities on the outside. Certain Americans live every day under not only the threat of extra-judicial execution—as protests surrounding the deaths of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and so many others have drawn long overdue attention to—but also under the threat of capture, of being thrown into these plantations, shackled and forced to work.

Our protest against prison slavery is a protest against the school to prison pipeline, a protest against police terror, a protest against post-release controls. When we abolish slavery, they’ll lose much of their incentive to lock up our children, they’ll stop building traps to pull back those who they’ve released. When we remove the economic motive and grease of our forced labor from the US prison system, the entire structure of courts and police, of control and slave-catching must shift to accommodate us as humans, rather than slaves.

Prison impacts everyone, when we stand up and refuse on September 9th, 2016, we need to know our friends, families and allies on the outside will have our backs. This spring and summer will be seasons of organizing, of spreading the word, building the networks of solidarity and showing that we’re serious and what we’re capable of.

Step up, stand up, and join us.
Against prison slavery.
For liberation of all.

The Attica Prison Uprising and Aftermath:

Additional Videos:

 

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Homemade Shotgun Turned In For $100 at Minnesota “Buyback” Program Showcases the Futility of Gun Bans

Minnesota Buyback Program Wood Pipe ShotgunAlthough largely ineffective and mostly just for show, gun “buyback” programs are pretty common nationwide. They allow local governments and police departments to put out PR stories saying that they have removed “X” amount of guns from potentially falling into the hands of criminals. In reality, the low amounts paid for guns turned in at these type of dog and pony shows pretty much guarantee that the vast majority of those participating will only be giving up unwanted and often poorly maintained guns that barely fit the requirement that they be in working order, if at all.

Earlier this week, during a buyback program held by the Minneapolis Police Department someone took that to the next level and turned in a block of wood with a pipe duct taped to it in exchange for a $100 dollar gift card.

Via the Washington Free Beacon:

Minneapolis police purchased a homemade shotgun consisting of a piece of wood and lead pipe during a gun buyback program on Saturday.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, a state-based gun rights groups, announced on its Facebook page that a man had been paid $100 in gift certificates for a makeshift shotgun at the event. A picture of the shotgun posted on the group’s page illustrates the primitive nature of the firearm. The serial number, written in marker on the piece of wood, reads “BuyBacksDontWork01” and demonstrates the gun was created as a statement against such programs.

The original Facebook post by Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus:

Some people have expressed doubt about whether the story was real based on the idea that the gun was “obviously” not a functional weapon and wouldn’t be accepted. However, Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal confirmed that it was accepted during the buyback event, stating that it had been inspected and found to be operable in spite of it’s crude construction. And in all likelihood it is very much the case that this chunk of wood and pipe is a legitimate shotgun.

While that construction is incredibly crude, this type of shotgun is in fact a real and very functional firearm. Known as “slam fire shotguns,” homemade, manually fired shotguns are a real thing. Essentially, they consist of two pieces of pipe, a firing pin, and an improvised handle. The firing pin is installed within one of the pipes which is slightly larger in diameter than the pipe that holds the shotgun shell and is placed within the larger pipe. In order to fire the gun, the inner pipe is manually pulled back against the firing pin.

The design of these improvised weapons can be extremely rudimentary as in this case, however just by putting a little more work into it and upgrading the materials used, slam fire shotguns can be turned into very effective, but cheap weapons. If you watch the video embedded below, you’ll see an example of just how much potential one of these could have in the hands of a knowledgeable and skilled gun enthusiast.

Much of the reaction to this story has been to mock the effectiveness of gun buyback programs. There’s plenty of good reason for that. Now that this has gained a bit of attention people opposed to gun restrictions could set out to thwart buybacks by spending a few dollars (or less) on building a slam fire shotgun simply to turn it in at one. In fact, someone has reportedly already (this time unsuccessfully) attempted to try that approach by showing up at one such event with a “duffel bag full” of them. Of course, it wouldn’t be long before the police responded by not accepting them or making the exchange value low enough that it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

There is a larger point that this highlights about gun bans, though. It’s simply impossible to legislate gun possession out of existence. One of the biggest flaws in the idea of gun bans is that, unless Superman comes along and uses his super speed to round up every gun in the world, then squeezes them into a giant ball and throws them out into space, guns will still exist and criminals will still acquire guns. In fact, the reality shown by this is that even if he did that and then every gun factory on the planet was bulldozed people would still have the ability to fairly easily manufacture a firearm that they could then throw at Superman after he deflects all their bullets. (I’m purposely leaving out the fact that gun bans never actually apply to all weapons just for the sake of argument.)

Zip guns, which slam-fire shotguns are a subset of, are nothing new. They were widely used by resistance forces in occupied areas during the Second World War. They were simply and cheaply made and could more than likely be accomplished as a “DIY” project. The United States Army even had a mass produced version of a zip gun made with the intention of airdropping them en masse into Nazi occupied territories of Europe. While they were not particularly accurate, long lasting, or effective when compared to military issue weapons, you potentially only had to use them once against an occupying soldier in order to acquire a better firearm.

Slam fire shotguns are legal in almost all states within the United States, but are mostly owned by collectors or people who just appreciate the novelty of them here. That’s because of the availability of professionally constructed guns within the country. However, not surprisingly, zip guns are quite popular in places with restrictive or outright prohibitions on guns.

Via Wikipedia:

Improvised firearms are most commonly encountered in regions with restrictive gun control laws. While popular in the United States in the 1950s, the “zip gun” has become less common because of the greater ease of obtaining firearms. In India, use of improvised country-made pistols is widespread, especially in the regions of Bihar and Purvanchal. The manufacture of these weapons has become a cottage industry, and the components are often manufactured from scrap material, such as gun barrels fashioned from trucksteering wheels.[3] In areas like South Africa, improvised firearms are more common. In a study of Zululand District Municipality, South Africa, it was found that most improvised firearms were crude, 12-gauge shotguns, with a simple pull and release firing mechanism; like the .22 rimfire cartridges; shotgun shells also operate at low pressures, making them more suited for use in weak, improvised barrels.[8] Even in the absence of ammunition, homemade powder can be used; such firearms were the subject of a crackdown in the People’s Republic of China in 2008.[6]

People will find a way.

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How Police “Heroes” Create Hatred And Disdain Within The Communities They “Serve”

The content for the following post was shared with Nevada Cop Block by Eric Peters, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. The video included shows someone, apparently named Bishop A. Copeland (based on the YouTube title), being stopped for a seat belt violation. During that stop, the police decide for some unspecified reason to bring a K9 unit out to attempt to find drugs within his car.

Based on the fact that people living nearby ask if they can take his children home rather than forcing them to sit in the hot car, Copeland apparently lives very close to where the stop occurred. By the midpoint of the video, a group of neighbors have gathered and some of them soon begin questioning and even heckling the police, as does Copeland throughout the video.

In spite of the humorousness of the exchanges between Bishop Copeland and some of the neighbors toward the police, this video is a pretty prime example of how the police first create and then escalate situations which cause both disrespect and open hostility toward police among everyday citizens.

At best, this stop is a case of Revenue Generation and more likely it was simply a tactic of opportunity used to profile someone within a certain neighborhood simply based on their appearance and/or presence within that geographical location and the cops’ arbitrary perception that they don’t belong there or are engaging in some State-prohibited (and often victimless) act there.

Below is the description included with the submission.

Note: The content below has only been edited for spelling errors, typos, etc. and otherwise has been posted as received.

Here’s a video depicting a guy being harassed by three Heroes who appear dressed to invade Poland:

The driver was apparently pulled over for a seat belt “violation” – one of the growing number of petty but tyrannical affronts to our status as (allegedly) free men and women. This became the pretext for Hero #1 to demand that the driver submit to a search of his vehicle for arbitrarily illegal “drugs” (Hero #1 and the other Heroes no doubt consume/partake other arbitrarily legal “drugs,” like alcohol).

They force the man out of his car, then a four-legged Hero is trotted out to suss out the arbitrarily illegal “drugs.” The four-legged Hero is allowed – encouraged – to jump on the guy’s car and scratch it with his got-damned claws. And if, through some process of inter-species dialogue, the four legged Hero “says” he sniffs arbitrarily illegal drugs, the two-legged ones will proceed to tear the car apart looking for them. If they find none, the driver is eventually released and given his now-scratched car back. Hut! hut! hut!

Note that all these Heroes are jacked-up in black military-style web gear, and wear dark sunglasses to add to the Intimidation Factor.

You may be one of those “law and order” types whose reflex is to side with the Heroes – especially given that the victim in this case is a black guy and not particularly articulate.

But – an old song – if they can do this sort of thing to them, they can do it to you, too. All of us are threatened – but many of us do not grok this.

You are a fool if that’s you.

Those white Heroes will be just as happy to do to you what was done to the black guy in this video.

Wake up, wise up.

– Eric Peters
EPautos
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS:

Along with his submission Eric asks that anyone who is so inclined contribute a donation to his personal website and business. Those donations can be sent via his Donation Page at the EPautos site. Alternatively, you can send a donation to the address listed above. In regard to that request Eric states:

I have a fresh pile of EPautos magnets to send out – and Special Bonus! – anyone who sends in a donation of $30 or more will get a magnet and some stickers, a handful of which I still have laying around.

Thanks in advance (and again) for your help keeping this site viable. It’s not easy making a living as a writer or publisher when you don’t/won’t kiss the ring of the establishment and play for Team Red or Team Blue. This site is a big Up Yours! (or better yet, leave us alone) to both of them. It shows that peaceful, voluntary exchange works. That people are willing to support what they think is worth supporting.

I may not get rich doing this, but it gratifies me daily to know that every cent this site generates was generated non-coercively and without any shuck-and-jive. So, thanks again – to all of you!

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